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Profractional last Tuesday -- Early results good

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I had the Sciton profractional laser done last Tuesday. The cheek area was done at the 600 level and other areas were a lower setting. I should mention I had CO2 January of '07 with 50% improvement, but my light olive complexion is quite a bit lighter, just as they warn.

My face swelled for about 2 days with profractional, but it may still be a bit swollen and I can't tell. I still have redness and some tiny dots, like my face was stamped. I'm sure this is too good to be true in the long term, but I see a huge improvement. Even when I look sideways in the mirror, I don't see that indented look. Again, probably too early to be sure.

One thing for sure. I had a chicken pox mark just left of the bridge of my nose for several decades now. She had a very hard time reaching it with teh laser (as did the CO2 doctor), but the bottom half of the scar did get a good zap. I can tell the laser never got the top half of the scar because that half never got red. Anyway, the contrast between the bottom and top half of the scar is pretty stark. We'll see if the results are permanent. The nurse who did this on me showed me pictures of her chicken pox marks near her chin, before and after one treatment, and I could only see a slight indent where her scars used to be. I believe she is a couple months past the treatment.

I bought a package of profractional treatments, three for $900. They gave 40% off for buying a package.

If things do or do not work out, I will post the results.

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how did things turn. An update would really be appreciated as I am considering prfractional and am curious as to the result others have experienced.

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I am happy with the result so far. I have still only done the one. Party because it took my skin so long to recover as they went deep.

So I had the CO2 almost 2 years ago and got 50% improvement. That's my starting point. It's been approx five months, and I believe that my cheek area is improved 30 percent from where I started after the CO2. Where they didn't go deep, I had less result, like around my lower face. There are sensitive areas on the face and they just didn't go as deep because it was painful. So it will take more treatments and lower depths to achieve a result there.

Compared to CO2, I would do the profractional. The CO2 was $5000 and profractionals can be as cheap as $500 per session depending on the microns. CO2 aftercare is excruciating, in my opinion, and the pigmentation problems are real.

I'm going to do another PF in the fall and I'll report in on the results.

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HI, I too am interested in hearing any ones comments on their ProFractional treament. I am scheduled to have one done on the 10th and I just hope my expectations are not too high. It supposedly smooths out wrinkles as well, which would be a plus. I have large pores on my nose but they told me I would see some reduction but not the same change as with the scaring and wrinkles. Any information or before and after shots would be great. Also, I will be traveling on the 24th, 14 days after the procedure and I want to make sure I will look good by then. Thanks!

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I had the profractional done July 1st and I am still red around the treated areas. I think that the dowtime is closer to 3-4 months if an aggressive treatment (above 400 ?) is performed. This downtime is very disappointing, and a far cry from the 3 day downtime which I was told. I keep waiting until the redness clears so that I can post about my results, but the redness just doesn't seem to be fading. I will see the MD in 7 days.

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^ Hi, I did fraxel repair and it getting up to 28 days and my skin is still red and blotchy in parts. I'm male so currently I'm panicking about having to wear makeup and what not. Do you have picutres of your skin?

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Did you get fraxel or profractional? I got profractional, but that was in March. Sorry, I didn't take before and after pictures of my skin.

Are you worried about going out in public with blotchy skin or are you worried that it's not going to heal properly? I am happy with the results so it was worth the recovery, but I was able to wear makeup. I don't know if a guy could wear a lightly tinted moisturizer and get away with it. Did your doctor feel things were healing normally?

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Wow everyone here is going at much higher settings than me. One of my scars is already gone and she did it at the 200 level. Next time she's only increasing to 225. I have about six scars left to treat both cheek areas and they are bigger and deeper in depth but they too have gone through about 10-15% improvement.

My downtime was a total of maybe 5-6 days and full skin color returned by day 8 or 9 and my complexion looks significantly brighter.

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Femme Fatale, Maybe less is more when it comes to profractional. Your settings were extremely low and you seem to be getting great results.

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It's my opinion (and I don't have much to back this up) that you may choose to do less energy and more treatment sessions or high energy (with much downtime) and fewer sessions (less $) to achieve the same result. There isn't enough research or any for that matter published on the optimal settings, so I'm sure you'll find MDs who will tell you that you don't need to use a lot of energy, and you will find some who will tell you that you do need much energy to achieve optimal results.

I am most frustrated with the dishonesty of many MDs, especially in regards to downtime. Being a physical therapist who works with orthopedic surgeons has really been an eye opener to how much an MD can care about there cash flow and how little they can care about people. I know that you can't generalize from one MD to the next, but the fact is is that I've had many MDs in the past who I know were dirty money grubbing weasels. The fact is is that once an MD goes into practice for himself/herself, or into a partnership, they are then less of an MD and more of an entrapeneur. That's not to say that there aren't some good MDs out there. I'm just a little dissatisfied withg mine as I have waited around for the last 2 months for my skin to return to a ormal color and it has not.

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I agree about the MD's that are out there just wanting to make big money. That's why I really went out of my way to explore my options. This one derm I went to see wanted to do one big Erbium Yag treatment on me and only one and then inject me with Sculptra to which my current derm was shaking his head and saying that that wouldn't have helped the damage I have at all and then they would have been unable to do anything for at least a year which would have meant that I would have been crying even more.

I had been so upset these past few months I can't even explain how bad my state of mind was. I am so amazed by my derm who's doing my procedures. He genuinely looked sad that I was sad which is why he offered free treatments vs the other derm who was going to charge me up to 8000 and who my mother and I both disliked the moment he walked into the room.

I think it is so so very important to find a good kind caring doctor who's sympathetic to your needs. I could never handle a month long downtime nor could my skin given at what strange angles my scarring is that one big treatment on my skin would have just created one big depression (something that other idiot derm told me as well but he figured sculptra would help fix my skin over time). I could completely tell that previous derm was simply trying to make money off of my tragic mistake while my current derm said "I feel so bad for your situation. I have dealt with patients who had skin much worse than yours and as long as we do things slowly we can correct it."

I love this clinic. They are seriously the best people and they didn't once make me uncomfortable while doing it and they even let me hide out in the room after because I didn't want to go outside until my dad came to pick me and my mom up haha.

I have been dealing with skin issues for six years and just when things were finally almost better except for some minor scarred pores and discoloration I go and make things worse with a stupid at home chemical peel but honestly if I didn't make this mistake I highly doubt I would be saving as much money as I am right now.

In terms of my color being back to normal I am surprised myself. My niece screamed when she first saw my face when I came home. By day 2 or 3 everything was washing off with no additional scarring and one vanished scar much to my delight. I went from being very red to tanned and by day 8 or 9 full color return. The only annoying part was all those whiteheads that I got on my forehead and the area by my nose but those subsided also within that week.

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Hi, Happy to see all the posts. The reason I am concerned about downtime is I am having the procedure on the 10th and I am going to Vegas to see old friends on the 24th and I DON'T want to look like a freak show. The derm did say I would be fine in a few days, just look like I have a sun burn, and in 4-6 days would be completely fine, but I am going to ask again and stress the importance of looking good for my trip. If it is about the strength of the procedure, then I will go for a lower setting and just have additional treatments. I, of course, had wanted as much as I could get in one session but I will forgo that if it means more downtime. I just want to look good for my trip. It would be a bummer to be all blotchy etc.

I have one huge scar that I doubt will look completely better after only one treatment, but I was hoping to see an improve with it and in other non-acne areas, like wrinkles, sun spots and enlarged pores, at least it that would be a plus . Any comments on these areas would be appreciated.

:think: Thanks!

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please post pictures. We see a lot of postings but we all like to see for ourselves. I'm glad yourhappy with your results so far. I'll post pics before during and after when I have the carboxy done on my pox scars

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The clinic I am getting it done at plans on taking pictures for my next session and then onwards but I am not sure how comfortable I am posting pics like that on such a public forum since I cringe looking at my skin I would feel worse seeing it in a pic haha.

As for settings mine were done at 200 microns next time it will be 225. I believe if you go 400 and up you are looking at major downtime so if you want to avoid that then you might request for them to go at a lower setting so your skin won't look so bad.

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And for myself after one treatment I noticed that my pores have shrunk practically invisible on cheeks, blackheads on nose less but still there that might take a few more treatments. I have always had a light sprinkle of those since I was a teen and it doesn't bother me at all.

Everyone's skin is different and reacts differently. Like I said they told me that most people are squirming throughout these treatments but I felt like nothing was being done on my skin. I seriously felt only mild pricking but it didn't bother me as I have very high pain tolerance and I am a quick healer apparently since my color has returned to normal. I don't even have a slight pink look to my skin and nor did my skin color change. My skin does look very bright and fresh something that I had lost throughout the years of skin issues and which one treatment brought back so that's something I am most happy about.

So please anything you decide low settings, high settings do not do it based on mine or anybody else's experience because we all have very different skin and given the fact that one of my scars is already gone this procedure is working very positively for me at low settings as well but it might not work as well for others.

This procedure is great for wrinkles by the way. I am 25 but my skin is smooth and I have zero lines as everyone in my family does age very well :) I avoided getting anything done around the eye even though she asked if I wanted to freshen anything up. I don't have much in terms of bags either but I might consider getting one done just to brighten the eye area.

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It's my opinion (and I don't have much to back this up) that you may choose to do less energy and more treatment sessions or high energy (with much downtime) and fewer sessions (less $) to achieve the same result. There isn't enough research or any for that matter published on the optimal settings, so I'm sure you'll find MDs who will tell you that you don't need to use a lot of energy, and you will find some who will tell you that you do need much energy to achieve optimal results.

you are so correct. Just like doing a chemical peel. you don't want to do a cross of 100% and your chances of making things worse and long downtime is high. you'll have better results and more control if you start low and work your way up.

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Caugust, you have a very difficult decision before you. The sad fact is is that most people on here, even though they have the best of intensions, aren't very scientific. Some feel that there scars improve right away, but you don't know if this i just wishful thinking. It's my understanding, and experience, that you swell for several days which makes your scars look filled in. However, when the swelling goes down, you realize over the next few months that that 1 treatment led to 10% improvement.

Also, I have rosacea, which means that my skintype is more fair, and much more vascularized. This may be the reason why my skin is still redish/pinkish after 2 months.

To make a long story short, it's my belief that you will not notice any improvement in 2 weeks time, and you run a serious risk of having discolorization in that time period. I hate to provide an opinion which I know will not make you happy, but if you want to play things very safely, postpone your treatment session for a later date. That is my opinion.

PS Even at the 200 micron level, it took 4 weeks for one of my scars to not look redish, and the other scar was still red. However, it sounds like others do not have as long of downtime. I hope this helps

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I find it interesting why some people's skin reacts differently than others. I didn't even experience a lot of the swelling people are mentioning so my one scar actually disappearing is the fact that it's actually smooth skin in that place now (it isn't pink or red and it is the same color as my natural skin) as I did this procedure over three weeks ago. But my scars are also due to a chemical burn and they are also only five or six months old so maybe this is working okay for me due to the scars being relatively new as my derm and nurse said that it's easier to get rid of newer scars.

I should also point out some of the comments the nurse made on my skin while she was doing this. She said my skin was barely swelling and she was surprised how quickly after she did the laser on my forehead my skin was returning to its baseline color. She said that was rare. My face didn't burn a lot during or after the treatment either.

And I can't fully remember what she noticed while doing the laser but she asked if I drank a lot of water and I said yes because I work out everyday and she said she could notice in my skin that i drank a lot of it.

She also said to increase my water dosage while doing this as these laser treatments would make my skin very dry but in all honesty I was only dry the first week before my skin went back to being slightly oily again.

When they first met me they said it would take 8-10 treatments with 10% improvement each time but she also said it depends a lot on the individual because everyone has different results and if I am lucky it may take as little as 3-5 treatments because even months later you will notice how much your skin keeps changing which I too continue to notice.

Again everyone's skin is different. I definitely think some people's skin reacts far more positively to laser than others and some individuals as my nurse said get quicker results.

I mean with any laser you're about to take a huge gamble and it will either work and it will be great for you or chances are it might not and you just wasted a lot of money for nothing. That other derm I had seen had also said that people's redness persists for months and that was something I had been so scared about especially when I was looking at my skin the first week. I had also gotten worried that I had tanned because I kept comparing my face to my neck but that did not occur.

Although I do wonder if things will change as they raise the settings so I will keep everyone updated on that.

My next treatment is next week :)

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Hi, I appreciate everyone's input. At least now I feel like I know what to ask/clarify before the first treatment. I will be interested to hear how your next treatment goes femme fatale and I will keep everyone posted on how my skin reacts. I will also get pics before and after. I too like to see pics, gives me a better idea of what to expect. Thanks, Carol

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Some other things to think about Caugust:

1. It not only matters how many microns with which you are treated, it matters what percent of the scar and surrounding area is treated. ie. Are they treating 10% of the area or 60% of the area.

2. Make sure you specify what you mean by downtime when you ask your MD, as this may mean different things to different people. To me, downtime means return to normal skin color. To an MD, they may think return to no swelling.

3. If you are up front and let your MD know that it is imperative that you not have any discolorization in 2 weeks, and you will be very angry if this happens, he/she will likely listen. However, you will likely get less energy and less treatment % treated, and hence less improvement for the same cost of procedure. This isn't neccesarily a bad thing though. If you have the $, go slower and have less downtime in between procedures. If you have the time, I would go aggressive and get fewer procedures with much downtime all at once, and in the end have less downtime with more improvement faster.

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hey skinquest i want to have fraxel repair done, but a few years ago i did a chemical peel which left my skin on my cheeks a little whiter then the rest of my skin, i have olive skin btw, anyways i was wondering how much color did the laser take from ur skin?? and do you think it would be smart for me to do it.

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First of all, I had profractional which is somewhat different than fraxel. I don't know if they carry the same risk. I'm not sure, but I think there's some risk of losing pigment with profractional. I have a distinct line between my face and chin from a CO2 peel and I cannot cover it up with makeup, but since my whole face lost pigment evenly, I went ahead with profractional.

I think I would proceed very cautiously and only get the lower settings if I were you. You'll have to do more sessions so it will cost more, but it's better to spend the money and not lose the pigment. There's no fix for that, it's forever.

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Just a side note about pigmentary changes....You can always look into a dermatologist who uses a broadband intense pulsed light unit (IPL, photoderm). I'm pretty sure that this type of unit does not target any certain color of the skin, so it just helps to even out tone/pigment. Just to give you all something more to look into as if all the fractional lasers didn't give you enough of a headache.

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